I’ve talked a lot on the blog about the various shows/speakers I’ve seen at Sixth & I, but I realized I’ve never put together a post describing just how much I love this venue and the performers it hosts! (This is not at all affiliated with the organization, I just wanted to share my thoughts!).
If you’re not familiar with Sixth & I, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a synagogue–the fact that it’s also a wonderful event space is just a small component! Located in the heart of Chinatown in DC, Sixth & I is super accessible and is near a ton of great restaurants, making it the perfect venue for so many cultural events. Tickets are very affordable–usually close to $20–and when relevant, include the option to purchase the speaker’s latest book for an additional $12 or so.
In the past year, I’ve seen Mari Andrew, Jen Sincero, and U Up speak/perform at Sixth & I. (I saw U Up just last week with Katie, a friend of hers from college, Laura, and we had such a blast laughing along with Jared and Jordana live. I think it was my favorite show yet just because of how fun and engaged the audience was, too!).
The overall “feel” of the venue changes based on who is performing (U Up had dimmed lights and a more bar-like, lighthearted vibe), but the audience demographics have been pretty much the same at all of the events I’ve attended (generally mostly women in their 20s and 30s). Sixth & I is also a super safe venue (you’re patted down and your bag is searched as you walk in), and the best part? There’s almost always a bar set up, making it easy to purchase beer and wine to enjoy in your seat.
There’s honestly something super invigorating about gathering a small group of friends–or just yourself, I’ve gone to plenty of events like these solo–and getting out into the city for a bit to see someone interesting speak. While it takes more effort than watching Netflix on your couch, it’s so worth it. My mom ended up using my Liane Moriarty ticket at Sixth & I this past fall after I couldn’t attend the book talk due to a work conflict, and she absolutely loved the experience, which she also found super energizing.
If you’re interested in seeing what’s next, here’s a schedule of upcoming events.
I’m popping in with a quick post today before heading off to work–we had an early closing yesterday and a delayed opening at work today due to the “snow” (which really ended up being more like rain!), but I managed to squeeze in two workouts and tackle a lot of freelance stuff, so I’m grateful for the extra productivity!
I wanted to share two pieces that I came across on TJMaxx.com (where else?!) that I think are absolutely stunning and were such a great deal.
Last week, I saw this sassy, stylish cheetah piece by William Stafford for sale and knew I had to have it. While I haven’t often come across designer art pieces at TJMaxx, I googled the photograph and saw that it had previously been for sale on sites like One Kings Lane and was popular on Pinterest (so I knew it was the real deal!). I’m so excited to add this piece to my home, though the exact spot is TBD! Unfortunately, it seems to be sold out at the moment, but I found it for a similar price on Wayfair!
I was browsing again yesterday and came across another William Stafford piece (aptly named “dirty habit”) that I must have missed the first time but is actually one I’d spotted on Pinterest a few years ago in this home tour and couldn’t track down. It’s certainly not everyone’s style, but I loved how it looked in the below image (it’s so perfect for a bar cart area!). If you like sassy black and white photographs that tell a story, this one is a must!
The best part is that both images are huge (20 by 24 inches) AND come framed for only $80 each. If you wanted to frame a print of this size yourself, it would easily cost a couple hundred dollars, so this is a steal!
Are you a William Stafford fan/black and white photography enthusiast?
I know that I’ve talked a ton about the Georgetown Flea on the blog already (you can check out some previous posts/smaller guides on it here, here, and here), but given that I got several DMs/questions after sharing a sneak peek of my adventures there this past Sunday, I thought it would be time for me to publish a full-blown guide. This post is mainly for my DC readers or anyone traveling to the area, but hopefully people in other locations can still benefit from some of the more general tips!
First things first: the Georgetown Flea is an outdoor flea market located in Upper Georgetown (in the Hardy Middle School parking lot, which is across the street from the “Social Safeway”). It’s open every Sunday, officially from 8 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. I was fortunate enough that my previous apartment was just down the street from the Flea, making it easy to pop on over as I pleased. And because I have a hard time staying away from any thrift store/outdoor market situation, I obviously ended up going there a ton and now have plenty of tips to share! Even though I live a little further away now, I still make an effort to go at least a few times a season, as the Flea is truly a DC gem!
As for my “insider” tips…
1) Get there early, but not too early. Head over before brunch, not after! While the end time is technically 4:00 pm, vendors start to close up shop closer to noon/1 pm (though I’ve sometimes seen them stay out later in the summer months). Getting to the Flea early obviously means you’ll get first dibs on the items of the day, and some days I really have been there right at 8:30 or 9 am (there’s a Starbucks right nearby, so grab a cup of coffee and stroll around as you wake yourself up!). Not a major morning person? No sweat. I’ve also had luck showing up around 11:30, when vendors are starting to think about all of the merchandise they’ll have to pack up into their trucks in just a few short hours and will be more receptive to bargaining and discounts. Plus, if for some reason you fail to stumble upon any treasures, you can walk down Wisconsin Ave and enjoy the other Georgetown shops that will be open by this time of day.
2) Be mindful of the weather. Before planning your trip over–whether you’re traveling several miles or just a few blocks–take a look at the weather forecast and use your best judgment on whether it’s worth the trip. Would you be standing outside in a booth if there’s snow in the forecast? Yes, vendors will be present rain or shine, but trust me, the selection is much, much better when the weather is nice or at least sunny. I’ve definitely made the mistake of heading over on a misty or chilly day only to want to turn right back around due to the lack of merchandise available.
3) Search, search, search. Look past the junk–unfortunately, there’s a lot of it (think used stuffed animals, old DVDs and books, knockoff designer bags, and other garage sale fare). However, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough. Don’t disregard a seller’s table just because 90 percent of the items set out don’t appeal to you. You’re likely to find something beautiful if you look carefully. This past week, I scored the gorgeous chinoiserie vase above for only $5 after I spotted it on a jewelry table. I don’t even wear much jewelry; I just decided to take a look at the selection prior to heading back home and was presently surprised!
4) Be open minded. Since this is a Flea market, you can’t really go into the experience with a specific shopping list, or you’ll likely end up disappointed. Instead, go in and stumble upon things you didn’t even know you needed (I kid…well, kinda!). But really, you may spot a one-of-a-kind item that wasn’t on your radar but would look just perfect on that neglected shelf/in your guest room/etc. This happened a few weeks ago when I spotted a gorgeous ornate mirror that was gold and stunning. I had no idea where I would end up putting it, but the $35 price tag just couldn’t be beat. When I got home, I thought about it for awhile and then decided it would look perfect in my bathroom, and I now couldn’t be happier about this upgrade!
5) Don’t be afraid to bargain. I’ll let you in on a little secret–most of the time, I’m a little afraid to bargain, especially if I know that something is worth a decent amount. If I spot a perfect item on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace, I never offer less than the asking price (in fact, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ll sometimes offer more if I’m worried it’ll get snatched away by someone else!). If I spot an item I’m on the fence about, I’ll usually try to negotiate the price down about $5 or $10 if the seller is receptive, but I’m not really someone who bargains every chance they get (partly because I understand how frustrating this can be as a seller–Poshmark ladies, do ya hear me?). This all changes at the Flea. Vendors expect people to try to negotiate, so be upfront (and realistic) and you’ll likely score an even better deal. Which brings me to my next point…!
6) Carry cash. You technically don’t need to arrive with a ton of cash as long as you have a debit card on hand, as the Safeway across the street has an ATM and offers cash back at checkout. However, for the purpose of saving time, be mindful that vendors only take cash and the whole experience is much more seamless if you’re carrying larger and smaller bills in your wallet. Even if you don’t think you’ll purchase anything on a given day, showing up with at least a $20 in your wallet makes it easier to make a snap decision.
7) Don’t assume. Don’t assume anything when you’re shopping at the Flea. Some sellers know exactly how much a special item is worth and won’t cut you a deal. It’s not uncommon to spot beautiful chinoiserie jars and then find a whopping $325 price sticker attached. This isn’t your basement tag sale, but that’s not to say you can’t find some great deals (hello, $5 vase that I mentioned above!). Basically, if something doesn’t have a price tag, just ask the seller how much it costs before assuming it’s way out of your budget. After spotting the chinoiserie jars at one booth, I probably would have assumed that the vase I picked up at other booth would be at least $50…and boy, was I wrong! Note also that pricing isn’t stable from one vendor to another–there are a whole range of sellers present.
I hope this guide is helpful to those in or coming to the DC area for some major thrifting! DM me your fave finds, and happy hunting!
I promise you, it’s totally possible to scoop up a gorgeous Turkish rug without paying over $250. You just need to do some digging–both at big box stores and on Etsy (my preferred place to shop for vintage rugs!), and you’re guarantee to walk away with a gem. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites of the moment…someone needs to make a move on them!
Love the gorgeous shades of coral and blue on this rug.
A smaller rug like this one would look stunning layered over jute.
This rug would look beautiful in a small dining nook.
I took advantage of the not-as-gross-as-predicted weather this past weekend and squeezed in one of my favorite activities–antique/thrift shopping!
On Saturday, I made my way up to Petworth to check out Mom N Pop Antiques. I’d first heard about this place through Instagram and had seen people share some pretty neat finds, but I hate to say I wasn’t a huge fan when I checked it out in person. It’s one of those antique shops that requires you to really dig, which is cool, as not everything is neatly set out and the store has lots of little nooks and crannies. (As someone who loves the thrill of the hunt, I generally appreciate this kind of setup!). That said, items weren’t necessarily grouped by category and there was just too much stuff to really poke around, and the feel was more “garage sale” than “boutique” (I like how places like Miss Pixie’s still feel very clean and organized, despite also having a hodge podge of items for sale). I did leave with a super tiny pineapple figurine that I thought would be fun for some kind of art project (maybe hot glue gunned to serve as a handle on a little box?).
I also really liked the wall art pictured above–the piece was really light in person and I considered picking up for $21, but I also wasn’t sure 1) where it would go or 2) if I could cover up a small chip I noticed. In the right type of room, it would look absolutely stunning!
On Sunday I went back to the Georgetown Flea for the first time in a few weeks. It’s always one of my favorite places to shop; the weather had just been so bad lately that I doubted any vendors would be outside the past few weekends. Unfortunately, this was still the case on Sunday–it was a total flop, I think almost everyone was worried about the wind coming later and chose to stay inside! I used to swing by all the time when I lived in Georgetown, but now that I’m in Dupont I have to make a bit more of an effort to go. I also will say that the Flea can be hit or miss, as I’ve mentioned before, but I was motivated to go back after spotting some really good finds right before the new year. I’ll have to give it a few weeks and wait until the weather is a bit warmer once again!
A few weekends ago, I popped into the Opportunity Shop in Georgetown, which I love. I was in the neighborhood already and hadn’t been in for months, and I’m so glad I took a few moments to browse because I ended up leaving with this BEAUTIFUL bust sculpture. It was a little pricey, but I fell in love with it–I think busts are so versatile, even if they’re a little quirky! Many of my favorite designers have incorporated pieces like this into their homes. It’s such a classic look!
What antique finds have you picked up lately/where are your favorite places to browse?
As promised, I’m baaack–this time with some fun, easy-to-make recipes for your next happy hour or dinner party!
I was excited to collaborate with Ruthie on this post because I do love entertaining; I’m just not super comfortable in the kitchen and am looking to expand my recipe repertoire, if you will. Ruthie promised that her recipes would be super easy, and while I don’t think I nailed them 100 percent (it’s me, after all!), I did really enjoy piecing everything together because it did remind me 1) how many fun ingredients I could be incorporating into my usual meal prep (minced garlic, anyone?) and 2) how fulfilling it is to make something delicious AND be all set for the week in terms of leftovers (I filled up three tupperwares with leftover salad, which will be perfect paired with my usual lunch/dinner foods.).
Ruthie provided me with the recipes for her Truffled Turnip Fries and Classic Caesar Salad. If you know me, you know that fries and salad are two of my fave foods (ordering a salad + a side of fries is the way to go, obviously), so these were ideal meals to whip up at home. They really are perfect for a happy hour, because most people are looking to indulge a little with something salty but like having a healthy option available, too. (Though the fries are actually super guilt-free anyway, so no worries there!).
I modified the turnip fry recipe a bit because I didn’t want to splurge on the truffle oil, since I don’t do a ton of cooking as it is and wanted to stock up on ingredients that I know I’ll use. I’m sure it would have made the fries extra tasty, but I honestly liked them as they were! They would also be great with a little ketchup or honey mustard on the side.
When picking up ingredients for the salad and its dressing, I couldn’t find avocado mayo and ended up purchasing olive oil mayo instead. But OMG- regardless, the dressing was so good. My mom makes homemade dressing and always served it when we were growing up, but I don’t think to make my own often enough anymore. It’s just so much tastier than what comes in the bottle at the store and is obviously much healthier. What I especially liked about this dressing is that it has the classic Caesar taste without being too strong or heavy. I feel like I could actually eat these leftovers for a few days in a row and not get tired of the taste like I normally might.
Ok, so now for the end results!
These pictures may look a little funny since they’re just of the fries and salad (aka not a full meal), but I wolfed down this combo anyway because it was so good! If I were making an actual dinner, I would probably pair these things with a bowl of soup, a veggie burger, or really anything else with protein.
Thanks for following along with today’s collab–and be sure to hop on over to Ruthie’s blog for recipes galore!
I totally have a bone to pick with social media a lot of the time, but then I remember how many amazing connections/reconnections have happened in my life because of apps like Instagram. And this is one of those cases! Recently, I happily reconnected with Ruthie, who was a few years below me in college and was in one of my favorite classes of all time (an American Studies course on gender and pop culture!) during my senior year. Ruthie is so nice and talented and lives in Seattle where she works in a corporate job by day but runs an awesome food blog/Instagram (linked up top!) in her spare time. We talked about how we both love having creative outlets in our lives and decided to do a little long-distance collab: I would help her design her (huge, incredibly gorgeous) bathroom, and she would provide me with some much-needed cooking ideas!
For starters, can I just say how perfect Ruthie’s bathroom looks, even not fully decorated? My bathroom in my current apartment is TINY–which is totally fine since it’s just me, and I have a lot of other storage space in my closet, for example, but eek. My shower is teeny tiny, and the overall feel is very “cabin bathroom” esque, if that makes sense. Ruthie’s bathroom is huge, modern, and the perfect blank slate to make over!
Since there’s so much decor out there to choose from, Ruthie kindly gave me a little bit of background on the place and her preferences. She told me that she redid the floors and sink after moving in (she says that before, the bathroom was “very 90s with pale green walls”) and that she’s into any style except for farmhouse (noted!). She said that the rest of her apartment is mid-century looking with rose gold and metallic notes (love!) and her bedroom is more blue/coastal. In particular, she is looking for something to place between the toilet and shower on the back wall and is in need of accessory ideas (whether to purchase online or look for at local consignment shops–totally wish I could join!).
Soooo, off I went to do some browsing! And here’s what I put together to get her started!
I thought that a storage system like this one would fit perfectly in the space between Ruthie’s toilet and shower, and it can hold much needed supplies like shampoo bottles, cosmetics, makeup wipes, etc. She likely doesn’t need a ton of additional storage because there are so many drawers by the sink, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a few products within reach of the shower. The key is to not fill the drawers too high, though, or they’ll start to look junky! I would probably swap out the drawer pull for something a little less sterile in order to add some personality to the piece (one of these Anthropolgie knobs would be gorg!). On top, Ruthie could place a tray (something she could look for at a flea market, since she may find one with character) to hold favorite perfumes and nail polishes. Alternatively, a rolling cart would also look adorable here. You could add some fun touches like candles and succulents succulents while still using it to store essentials.
I also love the idea of hanging a wall shelf like this one from Urban Outfitters between the toilet and shower (instead of placing a storage unit there) to keep the space open. It would look gorgeous with some plants, perfumes, and candles. The style matches her bathroom’s modern look, and she could still keep a few items nearby the shower on the day-to-day (extra shampoo bottles, lotions, etc) without it getting too cluttered.
I’m all for a good stool–you guys know how much I love this set from Serena & Lily, but this TJ Maxx option is a little cheaper and also makes a statement. I keep seeing stools like this in large bathrooms and they’re so versatile!
Since Ruthie’s bathroom floors are a light wood color, I thought she could go for a more colorful bathmat, like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond (which seems like it would go with her “coastal colored” bedroom!). The shade should help brighten up the space and make it a little more lively.
Ruthie already has some art hanging in the bathroom, but she has so much wall space that she could definitely fit some additional pieces! I love incorporating figure sketches in the bathroom, but abstract pieces, photographs, or really anything else would look good if styled nicely. I really like this print from Society6, which would look beautiful matted in a white frame, and this sign from Anthropologie.
As for the sink area, I love these marble bathroom accessories, which are useful and will match the bathroom’s modern look. And she already has the right idea by placing candles and a little cactus on the vanity!
Ruthie could also prop up a piece of framed artwork, like this Seattle skyline print from Etsy, to have something to look at while getting ready (a framed photo would work, too!).
Fingers crossed this post provides Ruthie with some inspo–and stay tuned for her recipe reveal!
Stay tuned as I work on Ruthie’s recipe recs, which will be coming to the blog this evening! I’ll share more details soon, but they’re great if you’re hosting a small get together or just want to add something new to your usual weeknight dinner routine.
If you’re a cane/rattan lover who can appreciate a good deal, get excited, because I’ve found the Target product of your dreams!
But first things first. Earlier this year, I spotted these beautiful cane trays from Pottery Barn on a blog and fell in love. However, I have so many serving trays as it is that I couldn’t justify the price tag. I love using them for different things–yes, for food, but also on a bar cart, in the bathroom, on a dresser, etc.
Earlier this morning, I was doing my usual “scroll through Insta stories and see what happened overnight” AM ritual (anyone else totally guilty of lying in bed doing this every morning?!) and saw someone had picked up a gorgeous rattan tray at Target on sale. In trying to search for the product, I found something WAY better–a beautiful, vintage-looking, Pottery Barn look alike cane tray for only $30!!!
Shipping was out of stock for the item, but I managed to put one on hold at my local store, so definitely try to do the same. While doing a bit more browsing, I also discovered a gorgeous cane basket and an amazing but slightly more expensive plant stand.
For comparison, here is a pic of the Pottery Barn tray, which appears to be out of stock anyway:
They’re practically the same, right?! This Target one must be new, because I definitely haven’t seen it on the website or in stores (I also feel like I would’ve heard people raving about it by now!).
Happy Thursday! This week has been a bit of a mess–after taking the snow days off from working out, I decided to hit the gym at 7 am on Tuesday to squeeze in some exercise before getting back into the swing of things. Well, as soon as I left the apartment, I slid down the four concrete stairs outside our building and had an awful fall. I was in a ton of shock and thankfully landed on my back/butt/legs rather than my head, but I was still in a lot of pain. Being the weirdo I am, I decided to go ahead and walk over to the gym because I know that moving around can actually be good for you after a fall–not to mention, I had a ton of adrenaline in my system after that! After starting a spin class and having to leave midway through, I climbed back into bed with a bag of peas and fortunately was able to work from home and rest (and surprisingly was very productive, which was a plus!). I went to the doctor’s office that afternoon, and while thankfully everything looked and felt ok, I was warned that I’d be in more pain on day two. Well, the doctor was right, and I ended up spending Wednesday doing a lot more icing while working remotely. It’ll be a few days before I can work out again, but I’m glad that all in all, everything is ok (minus the aches in my back, neck, and arms!). So if you’re heading outside after a snow or in the early morning, be careful! When I got back from the gym on Tuesday morning, I realized that our ENTIRE DOORMAT had frozen over, making it basically impossible to not slip and fall when leaving the apartment, eek! I was honestly glad that it was me that fell and not an older person, and I went back downstairs and taped a sign to the door to warn other people to be super cautious when stepping out!
As I’ve shared a bit on here/Instagram, I’ve been doing some freelance writing for Apartment Therapy in addition to my work for Country Living, so I wanted to link to my latest piece here. It’s all about ways to bring some warmth into your home this winter, and it was of course a fun one to write since I talked about products and routines that I personally love. The funny part about freelancing writing is that you never actually know when your piece will hit the site after turning it in (at least, that’s never been the case anywhere I’ve worked!), so I find myself checking the site more frequently than usual (although let’s be real, I log onto Apartment Therapy at least once a day as it is!).
While browsing AT, I came across some other articles that I had to share with you all!
–“9 Simple Ways to Start Living a More Minimal Lifestyle”: Who doesn’t want to do this?! I know there are a lot of maximalists out there, too, but minimalism, even in small doses, just goes in hand with starting a new year. You don’t need to KonMari your entire home to make a bit of an impact in this area!
–This piece on how to read more: I’m all for this advice and am constantly impressed with people who carve out time to read, as it’s been something I’ve worked hard at doing over the past couple of years! I managed to read 55 books in 2018 and hope to see that number grow in 2019–and yes, you can read a ton and still have a life, promise! I don’t watch a lot of TV, for example, and fill what would be a lot of people’s TV time with reading. Rather than napping or listening to podcasts on long flights, I’ll read a book or two. It’s that simple!
–This piece about people spotting fiddle leaf figs at ALDI: Uh, brb, calling an Uber to the nearest Aldi (which is pretty far away but still within DC city limits!). Yes, fiddle leaf figs can be hard to care for, but that’s why a $13 one is the answer! I’m going to have to call my location and see if they have these in stock!
Having Monday off thanks to the snow was such a dream. I read two books and started a third, cooked a healthy dinner (Brussels sprouts from the farmer’s market + Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocci with vodka sauce + roasted corn), and got to try out this new cocktail recipe (which I’ll hardly call a recipe because it’s so darn easy!).
(A quick note: a wonderful PR company that I work with for the blog kindly sent over a bottle of the rum for me to try, but all reviews are my own!).
I usually just set out wine when I entertain at home and would love to be better at cocktail making, so I’m always happy to try new spirits and mixers. Sugar Island Rum is full of caramel and vanilla flavors, as well as a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove (what better combo for winter?) and is said to be similar to Captain Morgan spiced rum. I wasn’t sure what kind of cocktail I wanted to whip up, but I know that rum and ginger beer go great together (who doesn’t love a dark and stormy?), and since I keep spotting ginger beer at Trader Joe’s, I figured I’d pick up a pack of it. FYI- ginger beer is nonalcoholic and is a great drink on its own if you’re doing dry January or just trying to cut back on alcohol!
To create this super yummy dark and stormy variation, all you need to do is fill a glass halfway with ginger beer (one bottle was enough for two people–my roommate tried the cocktail, too!) and then top it off with a shot glass portion of rum. Then, just stir everything together and add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your liking (I happen to love adding lime to drinks, alcoholic or not), and that’s it! Super easy and delicious and perfect for this time of year.
What’s your favorite rum based drink, and what are your go-to cocktails to make at home?